2019 – A year of travel with the Chimptrips

by Jan

2019 has been a great year of travel and adventure for the Chimptrips.  We have travelled to new countries and visited bucket list destinations, as well as  exploring new places in the UK. We went on adventures abroad, tried new activities and loved getting outdoors to enjoy nature.

2019 - Looking back at our year of travel

The year started well with a very big birthday, which I was keen to celebrate in style.

Since I was a child, I had wanted to go to Borneo to see the orang-utans, so last year we started planning the itinerary to make this dream come true.

January & February

A visit to London, England

Our first visit of the year was a trip to London, with a visit to the Sky Garden to take in the spectacular views across the capital and an afternoon at the School of Rock musical in the West End.

Skiing in Les Arcs, France

In February, we revisited Arc 1800 in France with a large group of friends.  We had a superb week of skiing on a snow-covered, sunny mountain.

I just love sunny skiing and even better stopping for a vin chaud in the sun!  The Chimptrips boys had grown much more confident skiing and were able to go up 2 levels in their group.  I think this is because they were always trying to keep up with their more experienced friends.

Family standing on skis at Arc 1800 in France

March & April

A week in Saundersfoot, Wales

Saundersfoot Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales

At Easter we returned to the boys’ favourite beach in the Welsh town of Saundersfoot.  The weather was dry and we were able to get out for a coastal walk to Tenby, a circular walk at West Angle Bay and do some great family bike rides.

We even managed a visit to the Reptile Experience, where I was surprised to find myself happily holding a python.  What more could we want from a holiday?

A mini break in Matlock Bath, England

I also managed to fit in a weekend trip to Matlock Bath in the Peak District.

The weather was miserable all weekend, but we still managed to climb up the clifftop trail via High Tor and down into Matlock and cycle the Monsal Trail.

It was our first time in the area and I would love to return to explore further.

May & June

Camping in Dorset, England

In May, we took our first camping trip of the year with friends..  We went to Wilksworth Campsite, near Wimbourne. in Dorset.  This is a fantastic family campsite with great facilities and plenty of room for the children to play safely.

Lots of fresh air, beach and country walks and great BBQ food were the perfect recipe for a fun weekend.

Camping, Winksworth Farm, UK

July & August

Camping in Hampshire, England

At the start of July, we had time for a quick camping trip at Horseshoe Lake Activity Centre in Sandhurst. Hampshire.

This was a camping trip with a difference as we went without all our normal equipment.  Normally, we spend a day loading everything but the kitchen sink, but wanted to opt for a more stress-free option.

We took two small tents, sleeping bags and a blow-up mattress (well we’re not quite ready for wild camping!).  The kids had fun kayaking and paddle boarding and we used the permanent barbecues provided on-site for cooking.

A visit to Singapore, Asia

Watching fireworks from Gardens by Bay, Singapore

Our big adventure holiday started at the end of July when we headed off to Singapore, on our way to Borneo.

We loved everything about it, including the world’s tallest indoor waterfall  at the Jewel at  Changii Airport, the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, our trip to Sentosa Island and walk around China Town.

On our way home, we came back to Singapore and had a fun day at the Wild Wild Wet Waterpark at Downtown East.

A jungle adventure in Borneo, Asia

The highlight of the year of travel was definitely our jungle adventure in Borneo.  This was always top of my bucket list and this year was the perfect time to go.

We tried so many new things and had experiences that we will never forget.  We went on a 3-day river cruise in the rainforest on a river with crocodiles.  Seeing the fabulous animals of Borneo in the wild was amazing.  Plus, we saw the lovely orangutans and the adorable sun bears in the conservation centres, in Sepilok near Sandakan.

We ventured to Turtle Island to see turtles being born and released to the sea, went snorkelling in Kota Kinabalu and tried our hand at white-water rafting on the River Kiulu.

Baby Orangutan, Borneo

September & October

A weekend in Norfolk, England

Paddle Boarding, Norfolk Broads, UK

The first weekend of September, we were able to fit in a weekend in Norfolk before the return to school.  We had a day out on a boat on the Norfolk Broads and stopped for fishing and paddle boarding.

The Chimptrips boys had their first turn at being skipper.

A visit to Bath, England

In the half-term holidays, we took a long-anticipated trip to Bath.  We have been meaning to go there since the boys started studying it at school.

We loved our visit to the Roman Baths and managed to cram our weekend with an open bus tour and a whistle-stop tour of all the many other places to visit.  I think the boys had had their fill of museums by the time we came home.

Boys looking at Roman Baths, Somerset, England

A visit to London, England

At the end of the school holidays we took advantage of the discounted SW trains travel offer and took another day trip to London.

We went to The Clink Museum, to discover the gruesome history of London’s prison and took in some art at the London Tate Gallery.

After lunch, we made a visit to the Bodyworlds exhibition in Piccadilly Circus.  Here, the boys signed up as young doctors for the afternoon.

November & December

A mini-break in Cambridge, England

Punt, Cambridge, UK

Autumn proved to be a great time to visit Cambridge and wander around this marvellous historic city.

I’m happy to say that we did the proper tourist thing and hired a punt.  We enjoyed a chauffeur-driven tour up the River Cam, under a blanket with a hot chocolate in our hands.

A Christmas visit to Windsor, England

We finished our year of travel with a Christmas visit to Windsor.  It’s very easy to travel all across the world and forget the amazing sights that are on your doorstep.  I have been many times to go to the shops, but have never taken the kids inside the castle.

I am so glad we did.  The castle was festive and elegant and we were lucky enough to hear some amazing carol singers.

We also took a day out to do the Long Walk up to Windsor Castle and a historic walk at nearby Runnymede.

Choir singing in St George's Hall, Windsor Castle, Windsor

A year of travel - conclusion

It really has been a fantastic year of travel for the Chimptrips.  In November we launched our travel blog, so that we can share our experiences and inspire others.  We hope to make independent travel easier for others by sharing our itineraries and giving ideas on where to go.  Additionally we aim to share our walks and outside adventures to encourage others to get out and enjoy the outside.

We have travelled to some marvellous places this year and had some amazing experiences.  When we were not travelling, we have been out on bike rides and walks and tried some new activities, such as indoor skydiving and paddleboarding.

Looking forward to 2020

We are not yet sure what 2020 will bring for the Chimptrips.  We doubt that another epic jungle adventure will be on the horizon.  However, I know that we will continue to travel and visit new places.  Hopefully, we can share our adventures with others and swap travel ideas too.

Thank you for reading

We hope you enjoyed reading about our travel and adventures in 2019.  If you have any questions, please comment below.

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